Sunday, March 22, 2009

Constrained Liberation

The definition of personal liberty is subject to societal constraints. The boundaries of that definition are narrower for a woman.I wish I could say,with unwavering conviction, that my sisters and I are free; free to do as we wish within the confines of the legal system and free to indulge in things that our male counterparts take for granted. I don't think that the efforts of feminism are misplaced; but they still have a long way to go in making such freedom apparent, instead of letting it remain superficially glued to the edicts of constitutions.

One might argue that women today are far more liberated than their counterparts in the previous century.Women,in most countries,are allowed to vote,earn a living,own property and reap benefits that were once unimaginable.So does this mean that liberty isn't an absolute and that women ought to be 'thankful' that they are relatively better off now than women were before? It is like saying, 'the citizens of our city are relatively safe,if not completely safe,compared to people in other cities'. As far as I'm concerned there is not much difference between 'relatively safe' and 'unsafe', just as there isn't much difference between 'more liberated than before' and 'still not liberated'.

India was one of the first democracies that gave women the right to vote immediately after its independence.Still,given that it's been more than sixty years since that right was granted,women in India add societal constraints to define their sense of liberty.A 'free-thinking' woman in India must think twice before she refuses to marry young.She alone doesn't bear the brunt of the repercussions of such a decision, her parents bear it even before she does.A woman cannot be too intelligent,too opinionated or too 'talkative' for it is to her detriment. If she doesn't know how to cook she isn't adequately feminine.It also doesn't help if women cast aspersions on each other whenever convenient.How often are women expected to be domestically,politically and fashionably correct by their peers?

The dictates of traditional roles deal blows of death to the empowerment of women; and so does the self inflicted harm that outdoes the harm done by the opposite sex.The cause of feminism is misplaced in a world where women hurt each other and themselves as a rule of thumb.Feminine liberty is still a far cry away from where it should have been.It hurts to admit that womankind may have been partly to blame for this mishap.


indira said...

I have no idea how I missed your blog all these days.
Your writings are just wow :)

Mavrick said...